MHVillage’s MHInsider on Clayton Homes, Manufactured Housing Industry Fact Check – Why Correct Data Matters


It is stating the obvious that facts and sound data matters to investors, advocates, public officials, and industry professionals.

The thirst from accuracy is voiced from inside and outside of the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) member ranks.  Just as Warren Buffett might turn cool on a possible deal that was discovered to have incorrect information, so too those who are studying manufactured housing might not be as impressed by an organization’s claim if other data that they release proves to be wrong.

For that reason, as an example, Franke Rolfe and Dave Reynolds or RV Horizon’s/MHUniversity got tired of complaining about a lack of good data available from MHI or anyone else regarding the total number of land-lease manufactured home communities.  They’ve told MHProNews that their ‘hand count’ of all manufactured home communities took two people two years, and they identified about 44,000 communities.  The pair said they think there may be a few hundred more nationally than that 44k, but that those other properties would have as few as 2 sites.

The problem with manufactured home community (MHC) counts is made more challenging because some states require that every community be registered, but roughly half of the nation does not.  So, there is no accurate ‘master list’ in each state that could allow a simple contact of every state to yield a national total.

Fact Check of MHInsider on their Clayton Homes Claim

With that principle of the importance of accuracy of data in mind, we turn to a factoid stated in MHInsider in the January/February 2019 Louisville Show issue.  In it, they claimed that Clayton Retail’s Williams-burg Square location in Frazeysburg, Ohio sold some 2,000 homes in 2018.


The 2018 report is not yet available, but Kevin Clayton’s own annual report for 2017 stated that “Clayton Retail sold over 18,000 homes to families.”  They said that there were 361 total stores in the U.S.

  • So, if that 2017 total were exactly 18,000, it would mean the average Clayton owned retail center would sell 49.86 a year, just under 50 homes a year per store.
  • A Daily Business News with MHProNews source with ties to Clayton said there might be 2 Clayton retail locations in the entire nation in 2018 with 1/10th of the total sales that MHInsider inaccurately claimed that the Frazeysburg, Ohio location sold.  That source tells us that the typical Clayton store sells about 50 to 60 homes a year.  It’s a number which roughly lines up with what Kevin Clayton’s report cited above claimed.




Even if someone didn’t know industry trends, a close reading of the same MHInsider article would suggest as much.  Not far from that same photo, their column stated that the entire state of Ohio only sold about that number of homes. See the screen captures, above and below.




We contacted Darren Krolewski, who is listed as the publisher of MHInsider.  Let’s note in fairness that they do print a slick looking magazine. But the topic today is accuracy.

As of the time this article was written, Krolewski had not replied to the question about the factual accuracy of their article. Perhaps, Krolewski was just busy.

Anyone who pays close attention to the HUD, MHARR, IBTS or even MHI data should have know better.






Why it Matters – Confidence, Capital, Financing, Respect

The excuse, err, reasons given by the Government Sponsored Enterprises for not doing more lending in manufactured housing is a lack of good data. See the related reports, below the byline and notices.

Confidence by investors and others is based in part upon certainty.  Uncertainty in data creates less confidence among investors and others.

While MHI’s amen, echo chamber corner is arguably finding MHInsider to be useful for their purposes.  But usefulness for Arlington doesn’t mean it is adding to the confidence of investors.

Facts and figures should be accurate. Manufactured housing is underperforming. That’s a fact.

Is this a reliable resource?  We’ll look at other fact-error concerns from MHVillage/MHInsider and their allies in the days ahead. That’s this morning’s look at “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)


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